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Almost everyone has experienced the isolating effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. In March 2020, we saw many countries around the world announce lock-downs, due to the COVID outbreak. Since then, most of us have already become accustomed to long periods of self-isolation, remote working and staying at home rather than going to restaurants, events, parties, hotels and spa retreats. Even though isolating and staying at home has become the new normal, especially during the winter time, when COVID rates are extremely high, this simply goes against our human nature. Humans are naturally social creatures, who enjoy socializing and exploring. We are not made to stay at home in isolation. Even individuals who continue to work from home, as they prefer remote working, can suffer from social anxiety, loneliness and depression. Let’s take a closer look at the negative effects of social isolation on mental health, and how we can relieve anxiety during isolation and social distancing.
Loneliness is a negative effect of social isolation, and it has become one of the biggest issues our society has faced since the beginning of the pandemic. Lack of social activity can make you feel isolated, depressed and anxious. A new study on Behavioral and neural dissociation of social anxiety and loneliness revealed, “Loneliness is a public health concern with detrimental effects on physical and mental well-being.” The paper mentions the need to adapt interventions in order to reduce loneliness and tackle social anxiety.
A separate study published this month in the online issue of JAMA Network Open , reported that social isolation and loneliness can increase the risk of cardiovascular disease. The study revealed a 27% rise in the risk of heart disease among postmenopausal women, who experience high levels of social isolation and loneliness. One of the author’s, Natalie Golaszewski, Ph.D, stated, “We are social beings. In this time of COVID-19, many people are experiencing social isolation and loneliness, which may spiral into chronic states. It is important to further understand the acute and long-term effects these experiences have on cardiovascular health and overall well-being.”
Many people have also experienced sleeping problems as a result of self-distancing and isolating during the pandemic. A study mentioned in the journal Brain, Behavior, & Immunity – Health reported a rapid rise in Google searches in the US for the keyword “insomnia” in 2020 compared to pre-COVID times. Another study exploring Insomnia during the COVID-19 pandemic in the Greek population , found that COVID-19-related loneliness, anxiety, isolation and depressive symptoms can all lead to insomnia.
Self-care is vital during pandemic times when you are at risk of isolation, anxiety and loneliness. When you are self-distancing it is easy to become lazy, eat junk food, and stay in bed watching TV. When we are not leaving our apartment and socializing, we tend to neglect our appearance and this can also have a negative impact on our confidence, energy levels and mental health. It is crucial to eat healthy, take care of yourself and get out of bed. Daily sports and fitness activities, such as stretching exercises, walking, cycling, swimming and yoga can help to increase energy levels and improve your mental health. In order to achieve health and happiness, balance is always needed, so remember to combine the right amount of exercise with rest, relaxation and natural treatments.
There are plenty of natural treatments available to help you cope with the negative effects of isolation. Natural treatments such as hydrotherapy, hydromassage therapy, chromotherapy and aromatherapy can enhance relaxation levels, and help you to improve both your mental health and physical health.
Hot water immersion for medicinal purposes dates back to ancient times. Warm water hydrotherapy provides a wide variety of health benefits such as relaxing muscles, and providing relief for pain, insomnia, depression and anxiety. A warm bath can really do wonders for the body, mind and soul.
A 2011 research study in the " Journal of Rehabilitation Research and Development, " reported that massage was the most popular form of alternative care for pain relief in a group of U.S. veterans with chronic pain. Hydromassage therapy or under-water massage is becoming one of the most popular alternative healing methods, as it is believed to provide a wide array of healing benefits for the body and mind.
Chromotherapy employs different shades of light to create a tranquil ambiance, allowing the body to completely relax. This healing treatment is used to relieve anxiety, enhance energy levels, relieve pain, inflammation, and accelerate open wound healing.
Aromatherapy is a natural healing treatment using different scents such as Lavender and calming Chamomile to enhance relaxation and improve health. Reported health benefits include clearing sinus congestion, relieving insomnia, treating headaches, improving digestion, boosting immunity and reducing stress and anxiety.
Creating a comfy and cozy environment with elements of peace and calmness can help you to cope with isolation during the pandemic, and prevent you from becoming depressed and anxious. Hygge is one of the biggest home decor trends since the onset of COVID. The Danish concept of a Hygge interior is all about enhancing wellness and happiness by creating a home that is peaceful and clutter-free. A main Hygge belief is that stress can trigger anxiety and depression, so a clean and clear space helps to bring a sense of calmness. This is an important tip we should use to help us deal with isolation. Instead of spending time in front of the screen or laying in bed, try to use this time to be productive, clear out your wardrobe, make your home tidy, and find ways to upgrade your space in order to make it a comfortable and happy place you really love.
Making some upgrades to your home can help you to cope with long periods of self-isolation and relieve anxiety. Before Covid times, many homeowners working long hours, and commuting every day to the office just wanted a simple functional bathroom for a fast shower. Since the onset of the pandemic, there has been a rapid rise in bathroom remodeling projects, as homeowners want to create a peaceful place to relax and bathe to help cope with COVID isolation and reduce stress levels. Home spas are one of the biggest bathroom design trends in 2022, as the bathroom is now being viewed as a place in the home to relax and unwind. Upgrading your bath to a luxury ergonomically designed tub with therapeutic wellness features, such as Whirlpool Bathtubs , Air Jetted bathtubs and Heated Bathtubs can bring life-changing results, improving your mental and physical health on a daily basis.
Getting some fresh air is one of the best ways of dealing with isolation. Whether you have a large or small outdoor space, all homeowners during times of isolation have really appreciated their own private outdoor area to get some air, and prevent feeling claustrophobic or trapped. More homeowners are exploring ways to make the most out of their outdoor space, and one popular trend is to create an outdoor home spa. If you really loved going to spas, salons, massage parlors, leisure centers or hotels during pre-COVID times, then you should consider transforming your garden, terrace or balcony into an exclusive home spa sanctuary. In the long-run, having your own spa at home saves time, money and increases your property’s value. A home spa also enhances your overall mental and physical health. You can also invite some friends and family members to visit your outdoor home spa to enjoy a bonding session, as it is important to meet up with friends and family in a safe space when it is possible.
Demand for hot tubs has been dramatically rising over the past few years, and this is expected to continue as hydromassage therapy becomes one of the most popular wellness trends. Hot tubs and outdoor spas with hydromassage wellness technology offer numerous mental and physical health benefits, such as helping with muscle recovery after sport, enhancing energy levels and relieving anxiety.
Aquatica offers a wide variety of outdoor Hot Tubs in different styles and sizes to match your personal and design needs. Designed to enhance wellness and relaxation levels, Aquatica’s hot tubs are equipped with hydromassage jets, chromotherapy and ergonomically designed seating. Other options such as the Aromatherapy Package and Integrated Bluetooth Audio are also available for the ultimate home spa experience. If you think your outdoor space is too small for a hot tub, then consider installing an outdoor bathtub like the Japanese True Ofuro Duo Freestanding Bathtub for two bathers. This outdoor bath can be equipped with therapy packages for a therapeutic spa experience.